Thirty minutes and an index card. That’s what clinical psychologist Craig Bryan needs to conduct what he calls crisis response planning with a soldier who is suicidal. “Tell me the story about the day you tried to kill yourself,” Bryan asks. Then he listens and follows up with the type of question intended to build trust and uncover warning signs. “How would you know that you’re getting stressed out?” Planning mode comes next, identifying self-management strategies such as exercise. Bryan also asks about reasons for living. “What is good in your life even though things are bad?” Finally, on the card, a soldier handwrites a “safety net” checklist of emergency resources: a crisis hotline, a therapist, 911, an emergency room.
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